UUFSMA Newsletter December 9, 2019

The Mission of this Fellowship is to serve the spirit as each individual understands it; to serve the educational and pastoral needs of our own community; and to serve our multicultural community through actions that further social justice.

The next UUFSMA Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 12th at 1:00PM. Anyone wishing to attend, please contact Board President, John Simsarian at jcsimsarian@yahoo.com
Maria Papademetriou and George Post
became members of UUFSMA on December 1st, 2019.
Q. What months do you live in San Miguel?
A. This past year we have been in San Miguel in November, February, and now (since Oct 28th) until January 8th.
Q. How many years have you been here?
A. We are just now this year and last year spending more time in San Miguel.
Q. Where did you live before here?
A. From 1990 till 2000 I lived in San Miguel six months of the year. I was teaching
sculptural ceramics and Raku firing techniques at the Instituto Allende.The other
six months I was living in Greece and building a house. George has lived on Orcas island, WA, for about 48 years, and we have been a couple for 20 years. For years I divided my time between Greece and Mexico with brief visits to the U.S.
Q. What was/is your occupation?
A. My occupation at this time is artist...still doing ceramics, collage, mixed media, jewelry making....also involved in an artists' co-op on Orcas Island and a part-time retail job in a high-end clothing boutique. George is retired.
Q. What activities do you enjoy?
A. I enjoy cooking. We enjoy playing ukelele, singing, gardening- growing vegetables and fruit, walking, hiking, traveling, dancing, backgammon, reading, writing. George also likes to play bridge and do tai chi. We were both sailors and built our own houses.
Q. Family?
A.  We have a stepson and his partner and a little grandaughter. We both have large families whom we see from time to time. They come to visit on Orcas and we go to visit them as well.
Betsy Davies invited us to come to UU a few weeks ago, and George and I both were truly happy to meet such wonderful people. Our time now here is limited but hopefully we'll be back to San Miguel soon. I am in the process of selling my house in Greece so I need to take care of that, hopefully completing the process this April.
Photo of November's Circle Cena...with music!

Fourth Annual

Holiday Bazaar
Join us after the service on Sunday, December 15th for our Fourth Annual Holiday Bazaar. Last year we had over 20 booths offering a wide selection of articles, such as books, crafts, chocolates, stained glass and more. And, don't forget to drop by our White Elephant booth for those hidden treasures. 

If you wish to have a table at the Bazaar, below are the rules:
  • For a half table to sell your items they should be brought on day of sale.
  • Set-up starts at 9 that morning.
  • Only members of UU will be allowed to sell.
  • There will be a sign-up Sheet at the Welcome Table beginning Sunday,  November 17.
  • Participants need to provide their own table covering (there will be two sellers per table).
  • No hang-up art so bring your own easels if you need them.
  • No glass objects.
  • Supply your own change.
White Elephant Table
If you have Items you don't want or can't use, but are in good condition (no clothes or shoes), they need to be brought early on the morning of sale (9-10AM). There is no storage at the Aldea, but items can be brought to Arlena's garage before the sale and will be taken over to the Aldea on the morning of the 15th.

To drop off at Arlena's, please call first -154-8410. The location is Gracia 5 in La Aldea. We prefer small items that can be sold from a table; that is, no furniture.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Arlena Lawrence at lawrencearlena@yahoo.com or call 54-8410.

Care Team
Members of the Care Team wish you a healthy and Happy Holiday Season. Please don’t forget that we are here to help, and let us know if you need us.

If you are in need of assistance or know someone who does please contact Francoise or Joan.

If you are in need of a healthcare professional, you will find a comprehensive listing on DiscoverSMA.com under the Business Directory tab, Medical Services. You can search by specialty and/or name, and read reviews posted by others who have used their care.

For pastoral care, please contact Rev. Tom Rosiello -
415-122-2119,  tomrosiello@gmail.com
Françoise: 415 149 3053, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com
Joan Wolf, 415-154-9660, joanwolf@umich.edu 

Calendar of Activities

All are welcome to attend any and all UUFSMA activities. Please join us!

Tuesday Discussion Group, December 10, 10:15 am, Optimism/Pessimism: Where are you on the spectrum? Can you be optimistic about some things and not others? Can you change your attitude? Should you try? Join us for these meaningful discussions led by Liz Stone.The group meets at the Quinta Loreto restaurant at the sunny end, Loreto 15. 


Wednesday Lunch Bunch, December 11, 1:30pm, Café Buen Dia, Calle Hidalgo #42.

Women's Saturday Breakfast: Watch this space for breakfast gatherings beginning in early January.

Saturday Men's breakfast group -  Men meet in the Jardin at 9:30am in front of the Parroquia and decide where to eat. The regular guys would like some new faces to join them!

Circle Cena - The Circle Cena is a social gathering for people who meet at a host's house once a month for either a pot luck of botanas and dessert or a full course dinner. The hosts coordinate the event as to how many guests they can accommodate and who brings what food to share. As the groups change from cena to cena, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know other UUs.

The next Circle Cena is Monday, January 6, 2020. Please sign up as host or guest at the Welcome Table after Sunday service or contact Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com.


Sunday, December 15, 10:30am


Voices From the Fellowship:

Guiding Words and Principles



This Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service will be a departure from the customary format with one featured speaker. Instead, input from a number of our own members will shape a unique service of responses to the question “what are significant guiding words or principles which have served you well in your life.” For this service the interesting, curious and adventurous members of the Fellowship share inspirations which have guided and sustained them through the tricky mazes of life.

During times of despair, success, heartbreak and joy – words and principles can resonate deeply with us and help guide us through a myriad of times. Thesewords can provide a precious revelation during crisis and even sustain throughdecades. Sharing some of those heartfelt guiding principles is the focus of thisservice. Interwoven between shared words and principles from our own memberswill be music from the heart and hymns of community celebration.

Cherished guiding words will address a wide range of topics – from achieving personal happiness to enduring global angst, and from gearing up to control all we can and accepting what seems impossibly out of reach. We can aspire to forgive oneself, to try to keep life simple, or to just do it! The UU principles of “respect for the interdependent web of existence” and the “free and responsible search for truth and meaning” are tried and true jewels of guiding words for a number of members. And some of us credit inspiring guidance from world leaders such as Nelson Mandela, from Tikkun Olam - the Jewish tradition of shared social responsibility to heal a broken world, from Marxist philosopher
Antonio Gramsci, and from scientist Carl Sagan’s awestruck view of the tiny blue earth.

Coordinating members’ contributed guiding words into a message for all is member Paula Peace, familiar as frequent pianist at the UUFSMA. Paula also co- chairs the Sunday Service Committee, which plans the 51 services each year of the Fellowship, and she has been an active Unitarian Universalist for five decades. In her previous life in the US, she was the pianist and artistic director of the acclaimed Atlanta Chamber Players, with whom she performed hundreds of concerts, radio broadcasts, and educational outreach programs for children and underserved audiences.

Join us after the service for our Fourth Annual Holiday Bazaar. Last year we had over 20 booths offering a wide selection of articles, such as books, crafts, chocolates, stained glass and more, all created by members of the UU Fellowship.  
For more information about the UUFSMA, including our Sunday morning Children’s Religious Education program, Social Action outreach, weekly discussion groups, social activities, and Care Team, join us any Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Hotel La Aldea or check out our website at uufsma.org.

A Guadiana Neighborhood Connection gathering is scheduled for December 10th.  If you live in Colonia Allende, Guadiana, Ojo de Agua, or Caracol and have not received an email about this gathering, send an email to Ellie Goodwin at epgoodwin@hotmail.com to be included.

We now have held Neighborhood Connection (NC) gatherings all over town. These are an opportunity for UUs to get together with neighbors for social and care purposes.  If you are interested in being in one and have not received an invitation to a gathering, please send your request to Joan Wolf who is keeping the grouplists current.  Her email address is joanwolf@umich.edu.


Usually a Neighborhood Connection gathers in the home of a volunteer host for a potluck happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  All attendees contribute a finger food to share and bring their own beverage.  Many close UU friends are made this way.

If you are willing to host an event, contact Ellie Goodwin at epgoodwin@hotmail.com

Small Group Discussions 

The book We: Reviving Social Hope by philosopher Ron Aronson will be the
focus of a UU discussion group the first week in February, organized by the Social
Action Committee.The author will be our Sunday speaker on February 2. His
book is a message to save us from the despair, cynicism and defeatism that
paralyzes too many in these troubled times.

Aronson argues that social hope is born from collective action, a 'we', not just 'I'. It
is in a movement that 'we become members of a larger entity, drawing power from
it, having responsibility to it, and experiencing ourselves within it.' Through
collective action 'the formerly powerless can generate something new, social hope,
by acting together.' And this can change not only the world in which we live, we
also change ourselves.

If you would like to participate in discussion with the author, sign up with Cliff
DuRand by email to global.justice.cliff@gmail.com. You are expected to have
read the 180 page book in advance. Order your copy now.


If you have an idea about a new group, please pass your suggestions to Chris Chase, chris.chase1955@gmail.com or John Verplank, jandpverplank@gmail.com, co-chairs of the Member Services Team.

Social Action
The UUFSMA Social Action Committee (SAC) has been in existence since 2002. A large part of its work has involved reviewing and making funding recommendations on grant proposals from local Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). These grants help improve the quality of life for Mexicans living in and around San Miguel. In 2019 the UUFSMA provided financial support to 11 NGOs with $45,000 USD in grants, representing about half of the Fellowship’s annual income. In addition, each quarter, the SAC and the Congregation help identify organizations with special, often one-time needs, for which the entire Sunday offering is given. We call these donations our “Blue Plate Specials.”

This year the SAC has expanded its activities in several ways by:

* Providing updates to the Congregation before each Sunday offering, detailing progress
grantees are making on the projects the UUFSMA has helped to fund.
* Acting as a conduit to the Board of Directors with information about local social justice
initiatives such as Climate Strikes and Calls to Action on the Migrant Crisis.
* Partnering with members of the Congregation and local organizations to provide small
group discussions and action steps members can take to address Climate Action – the 13th of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals.

If you are visiting San Miguel or live here part time, we are interested in learning about the
social action/social justice work of your US or Canada-based congregation. Please feel free to take a flyer from the Welcome Table, share it with folks, and act as a bridge between your congregation and us, so that we can learn more about them and possibly find ways to partner with each other. Thank you!

Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 1:00 PM and all are welcome. For
more information, please contact Rebecca Langrall (rlangrall22@gmail.com) or Dick Snyder (rcs39@aol.com), Co-Chairs.
The Social Action Committee sponsors an ongoing food and supply drive for the migrants on the train tracks in Comonfort and those sheltered at ABBA House in Celaya.  More and more families are in need of help, especially with these items:

Items Needed:
Multi-use powdered soap, Cloro, Knorr suiza  (chicken bullion), Salt, Sugar, cooking oil
pasta along with can or carton of tomato sauce, Instant coffee, Bandaids, talcum powder, socks (a never ending supply is needed), Sanitary napkins, Underwear (men's and women's).

Medications needed:
Omeprazol (gastrointestinal)
Contac &  Agrifen (cold medications)
Paracetamol (pain & fever)
Ketarolaco (pain, anti-inflammatory) 
Naproxeno (pain, anti-inflammatory) 
Miconazol crema (skin infections)
Vitacilina (anti-bacterial, skin infections)

Members and friends are encouraged to bring what you can each Sunday and drop it into the two large plastic bins near the sign-in table. Stan Allen and Luisa Field will take the items after the service each week to distribute to those in need. Thanks to all for your continued support of ABBA House and the migrants. Together, we can make an important difference in the comfort of these families as they journey toward a better future.
The Annual Three Kings’ Day toy drive for campo kids has started. On January 3rd, Les Pearson and his volunteers will be taking toys to over 870 kids in 12 poor communities outside of SMA. The toys cost about $125 pesos per child and these toys are sourced through bulk buying. Monetary donations are needed to support this worthy project. Please donate to https://www.gofundme.com/f/three-kings-day-toy-drive
Les Pearson at mexicokid77@yahoo.com or give your donation to Bill Wilkinson at the Sunday Service. You can read more about the toy drive on the Gofundme site. 
Non Profit Organizations Supported by the UUFSMA
Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora provides micro-lending, education programs and sustainability projects to rural communities. This year’s funding will support the educational component of the micro lending program. http://apoyo.mx/
Caminos de Agua provides open-source solutions for communities at-risk on our aquifer in Central Mexico. The funding will pay for a community engagement fellow. https://caminosdeagua.org/.

Click on this link for Caminos de Agua's Year End 2019 Message - https://mailchi.mp/2d0d6306e560/do-twice-as-much-good-4724697?e=e29714f28e
Caminamos Juntos helps meet the needs of Mexican Nationals deported from the United States.A network service coordinator will be hired to lead a complex effort to provide safe return services to deportees. https://www.cjsma.org/.


Caminamos Juntos Newsletter

Casita Linda builds houses, helps create a sustainable environment, and provides workshops to help improve life for those living in poverty. The grant will pay for workshops to prepare families that are receiving a house on subjects such as community building, recycling, home maintenance and related issues. https://casitalinda.org/.

Click on this link for 2019 Year End News  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/1?ui=2&ik=918a4a7f08&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f:1651959914596773209
CEDESA organizes communities for sustainable living in rural areas and will use their grant to support three community development specialists that train and lead communities in building cisterns, recycling, composting, community gardens and more.
Escuela de Educación Especial is a school for persons with hearing impairment. Their  mission is to ensure that all SMA children who are deaf become literate, independent, and productive citizens who set and achieve life goals. The grant will partially pay the salary of the Academic Director/Administrator. http://www.eeesma.com/.
Fundación de Apoyo Infantil facilitates learning processes, using participatory methodologies to promote children’s rights and the protection of their environment. The grant will help pay for classroom recycling bins. http://faiguanajuato.org/ 

Update of activities 2019
Jóvenes Adelante provides university scholarships and support to financially challenged youth. The grant of $4,845 USD will continue to pay for the scholarship of four university students. A one time grant of $10,000 USD will be used to strengthen the Betse Davies Special Star Fund. http://www.jovenesadelante.org/

Read the latest JA newsletter by clicking on this link - 
Mujeres en Cambio provides scholarships to girls in rural communities to keep them in school.The grant will pay for five junior high and two high school students’ needs such as uniforms and suppllies. https://www.mujeresencambio.org/
Patronato Pro Niños provides medical and dental care to area children. This year’s grant will help pay for radio announcements to inform rural communities where the dental clinics will be each day. http://www.patronatoproninos.org/
San Miguel Literary Sala, Libros Para Todos promotes reading among children in rural communities. The grant will provide a special book for elementary children to read and then bring the author to town to meet the recipient students. https://sanmiguelliterarysala.org/community-projects/.

The UUFSMA Newsletter is produced each week for members and friends of the congregation. Information should be submitted by Wednesday each week to denise.uufsma@gmail.com

Contact Us!

Board of Directors 2019-2020 (as of April 1, 2019)

John Simsarian, President, 154-4771, jcsimsarian@yahoo.com
William Dalsimer, 1st VP, 917-991-7841, wrdalsimer@gmail.com
Chris Chase, 2nd VP, 170-4544, Chris.Chase1955@gmail.com

Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, 152-8019, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com
Dan Neuspiel, Secretary, 415-154-5021, dneuspiel@gmail.com 
Bonney McDowell, 415-145-7689, miko789@gmail.com
Eleanor Goodwin, 152-5700, epgoodwin@hotmail.com
Jim Harper, 152-2380, smaharper@yahoo.com
Joanna Kafarowski, 415 152 6111, joannakafarowski@gmail.com 
Rebecca Langrall, 415-151-0065, rlangrall22@gmail.com 

If you would like a copy of minutes from a Board of Directors meeting, please contact John Simsarian, President.

Affiliate Minister, Rev. Tom Rosiello, tomrosiello@gmail.com 

                    Committee Chairs and Activity

Pledge Team
Trish Snyder, trishsnyder49@gmail.com
Carolyn Simsarian, 

Jane Wilkinson, Treasurer, jane.wilkinson@gmail.com

Nominating Committee
Chris Kellogg, christopher_louro@yahoo.com

Administrator (OOS, website, newsletter, committee & board support)
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com 


Care Team
Francoise Yohalem, francoise.yohalem@gmail.com
Joan Wolf

Children's Program
Chris Chase, chris.chase1955@gmail.com

Circle Cena
Arlena Lawrence, lawrencearlena@yahoo.com

Tuesday Discussion Group
Liz Stone, elmendorf7@aol.com

Sunday Services
Paula Peace, paulapeace@bellsouth.net
Cathy Canepa, ccanepamd@gmail.com

Coffee Hour
Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com

Cynthia Sterling, sterlingsilver33@gmail.com

Greetings & Name Tags
Jim Harper, smaharper@yahoo.com 

Membership Services
Chris Chase, chris.chase1955@gmail.com
John Verplank, jandpverplank@gmail.com

Neighborhood Groups
Ellie Goodwin, epgoodwin@hotmail.com 

Special Music
Jon Sievert, jon@humblepress.com

Order of Service
Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com

Peter Podesta, parlino27@gmail.com 

Social Action, Outreach and Publicity
Christie McGue, clmcgue@gmail.com

Social Action Committee
Dick Snyder, rcs39@aol.com 
Rebecca Langrall, rlangrall22@gmail.com 

Denise Galipeau, denise.uufsma@gmail.com

San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico